Friday, November 30, 2007

More fun than a barrel of monkeys?

Today, Mr. Wonderful (who I shall henceforth refer to as BH, which are his initials) and I bravely accompanied The Geej and her entire class to The Austin Zoo for a field trip.

Let me start out by telling you that I am pretty creeped out and depressed by zoos in general. I know the keepers and zoologists do admirable work, but seeing animals in cages does not make me happy. I'd never been to the Austin Zoo due to this fact about myself, even though I know it's an "all rescue" zoo. So this was a first for both me and BH. However, The Geej had been there before with Dah.

Anyway, enough background.

I'd volunteered to drive myself and at least 2 young ones (in addition to the Geej), but instead I ended up actually riding in the passenger seat of another mom's car while Geej and this gal's son rode in the back.Poor BH had to ride with a father of one of Geej's classmates, this guy's son and two other four year-old boys. Yeah...I'm not sure he realized what he was getting himself into. (Apparently this dad was something of a douchebag, but I won't go into that right now.)

The weather was overcast and coolish, but not the least bit cold. We basically strolled the grounds of the zoo and checked out the animals at our own pace. My favorites? The marmosets and the tigers. BH also liked the marmosets. Geej? She was all about the cats, as in the two felis domesticus who roamed the grounds of the zoo. In fact, she declared most of the animals "Yuck" and proclaimed that "It's stinky" several times during our time a the zoo. What a diva. Her least favorite? The bears. She and Stephen Colbert would have a lot to talk about...

We took the train ride around the zoo, and she seemed to like that just fine.
Afterward, we had a picnic among the peacocks and...of course...the friendly zoo cats.
I think after this trip to the zoo, I finally deeply understand what the term, "Stoned as a goat" means. Seriously: Look at this dude's eyes. He's TOTALLY baked.

On the way back to school, Geej's back seat partner declared that he didn't want to play with her anymore when they got back to school because she's "so boring." Oh, okay, Mr. Excitement. Whatever you say. God. Kids can be such jerks.

Got back to school, and it was nap time, so BH and I made our exit.

All in all, a pretty fun time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Overheard at our house last night:

I was putting The Geej's pajamas on her, and this is what went down:

Geej: Can I have a bunny?

Karla May: Lord no, honey. Bunnies are cute, but they're a pain. They chew on everything and they're really, really loud. They howl all night long. And you know what they eat? Baby dolls! (To which her eyes widened in disbelief.) No really: they do! Besides, we've already got a cat, a dog and a gecko. We really don't need a noisy, babydoll-eating bunny.

Geej: Well then, can I have a rabbit?

Monday, November 26, 2007

What we did on our Thanksgiving vacation.

That's right, fools. The Tree is UP! I'm pretty sure this is the first time in my life EVER that I put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. And somehow, this year's tree looks a lot better than last year's tree (even though it's ostensibly the same tree, plus a couple of boxes of ornaments from Super Target).

Of course the Geej was all up in the tree decorating hizzee. She actually did a fairly good job even if it was highly-concentrated in the lower left quadrant of the tree.

My goal is to actually have some presents under the tree this year BEFORE Christmas morning. I've already purchased two presents (I know...unimpressive), so I'm ahead of where I usually am this time of year.

In other news: Yay! The sun is out after a gloomy-as-hell weekend. That means the lovely moon is going to be bright and clear tonight. It also means it's going to get down into the (upper) 30s. SNUGGLE WEATHER!! If only I could sleep in until 10:00am every morning... Sigh.

Hunka Munka went back to Geej's school today. I think I may have been the only one who was sad to see her go. Mr. W. never warmed up to her, the Geej was only half-way interested, and Earl really didn't give a crap about Hunka Munka's presence. (I swear that cat has ZERO predatory instinct inside his nicely insulated frame. He's a lover, not a fighter.) My mom and friends who came for Thanksgiving were fairly grossed out about the fact that I was willingly harboring vermin in my house. But I got rather Willard-like and would pulled Hunka Munka out each night to give her a thorough petting and scratching. And you know what? She LOVED it. She totally chilled out and relaxed and let her little, beady eyes go half-mast. It was pretty endearing. I haven't even seen Ratatouille, but I'm totally buying it.

Got this book today for work. I'm actually looking forward to reading it. Am I a dork? Why yes I am...

Finally, I'd like to say a fond farewell to Mr. Kevin DuBrow, recently-departed lead singer of 80s pseudo metal outfit "Quiet Riot." Two of the comments I read regarding a posting about his death were "Wait...who?" and "Now it truly is a quiet riot." Sad and funny. Sort of like that wig he used to wear.

Cum on...feel the noize.

Baby, it's cold outside.

Granted, it's not FREEZING, but it's cold for us. Would you please look at this boy: he's TOTALLY gettin his snuggle on. Yes, he put himself inside the blanket. I wouldn't have even known he was in there if not for the deafening purring going on. I just pulled it up so I could see his face and, of course, I had to take a picture.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Thanksgiving has got to be my most favoritest holiday. It's about food and friends and family, and what could be better than that?

I hosted a low-key potluck Thanksgiving for a few friends. Tuesday night Mr. W and I did all our shopping. Wednesday night, we prepped and cut and mixed, getting everything ready to cook. Thursday morning we put the squash in the slow cooker and went and picked up our smoked turkey at Hoover's. The friends started showing up around 2:30. I pulled out all of the appetizers--including the tomatoes rockafeller and the sundried tomato mozzarella skewers. We sat down to eat around 4:45. We went around the table and all said what we are thankful for. Geej said she's thankful for candy. What a surprise, no?I hadn't really eaten anything all day (except for a plate of appetizers), so about 15 minutes after we sat down to eat, my plate looked like this.

It was fun, and the food (except for the roasted potatoes I made, which were undercooked) was AMAZING.

Marinated mushrooms
Celery/Carrots with veggie dip and hummus
Mozzarella skewers
Tomatoes rockafeller
Citrus stuffed olives
Cream cheese with Pick-a-pepper sauce
Dried cranberries and cherries
Manchego, Goat blue cheese, and White cheddar with cranberries
Assorted crackers
Smoked turkey
Chipotle sweet potatoes
Vegan veggie tart
Cornbread dressing
Artichoke spinach casserole
Mac and cheese
Dijon roasted potatoes
Braised acorn squash
Whole wheat rolls
Cranberry sauce
Mushroom gravy
Pumpkin pie
Rhubarb pie (First time I've ever had rhubarb...OMFG YUM!!)
Sent everyone home with leftovers and still had plenty left for ourselves.
Man, I love Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guess who's coming to Thanksgiving...

Once again, I agreed to babysit the class rodent over the holidays. So yesterday, Hunka Munka the class rat, came home with me. Except for that damn ratty tail of hers, she's darn cute. She's very sweet and personable too. Thus far, Earl has been underwhelmed. But tonight, Hunka Munka gets to go out in the ratball for a little roll around the house. I'm sure that will blow Earl's rather tiny mind.

Speaking of Thanksgiving (was I?), Mr. W. and I decided it would be smart to do all of our shopping last night because we figured the store wouldn't be that busy. Yeah...we were pretty wrong on that one. We didn't get to Whole Foods until close to 8pm, and it was still packed to the rafters. Luckily, we got everything we needed (I think), and so I won't have to go back down there any time soon. Thank God. I'm not a fan of crowds...especially crowds in stores. Ick.

The wonderful Dah has The Geej tonight, so Mr. W. can clean house and prep food and get ready for cooking tomorrow. I'm expecting about 4 or 5 guests for our little potluck Thanksgiving, so it should be fun.

More soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007


So, y'all know where I work, right? Been here for eight years. And the 20% discount I get shopping here has been awesome when it comes to trying to put good, wholesome things into the mouth of the Geej. And I do try very hard to do just that. I'm not perfect, but I do what I can when I can.

And y'all also know how much I fucking LOATHE this place, right?

So what universe is my mom living in that she thinks it's okay to a) buy these as breakfast food for a three year old (that's W-Mart's private label brand, dontcha know)

and b) thinks that it's cool to bring this garbage into my house and put it in my pantry?

Please look at the ingredients: 3 out of the top 4 ingredients are sugar: Corn syrup, Sugar, and high fructose corn syrup! And please look at all of the dyes and other chemicals that it takes to make these things. The Geej calls them "The sparkly things," as in "I want the sparkly things for breakfast."

I opened the box and immediately threw away 3 of the 4 foil packages inside and told Geej that--oops!--they must've messed up at the factory and forgot to fill the box.

I try not to be a food snob--especially about the stuff I eat. But then again, I'm an adult and can make my own decisions, good or bad. The Geej is a wee one, and counts on me to make good decisions for her. I think I made a good decision when I threw the majority of this stuff in the trash.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hello, world!

The debut of Mortified Austin went very well. It sold out (which isn't saying much because the space only holds about 35 people, but still...), and all of the performers did very well. David Nadelberg, the author of the book, was there, and was super nice. And CUTE! I mean, based on the adolescent photo of him in the book, I never would've guessed it. We put the show on again in a couple of weeks, so if you didn't go this time, try to go next time...and get your tickets early, yo.

Saturday was the big fall cultural festival at The Geej's school. One part of it was a big cultural potluck where you're supposed to bring a dish that speaks of your heritage. Well, since my "heritage" is deep east Texas, I briefly considered bringing blackeyed peas and cornbread. But then I decided to go with something from The Geej's country of origin and found a recipe for "Russian Tea Cookies" on this Russian food site, and decided to make those instead. The recipe for "Veal Tongue in Aspic" was tempting, but I decided to stick with the cookies.

Let me disclose that I do not bake. I'm a pretty good cook, but baking is not my thing. Never has been. So the fact that I chose to make cookies FROM SCRATCH that were meant to be eaten by total strangers should send a slight shiver down your spine. Did I mention that each potluck dish had to have a label on it that said your name, the dish's name, country of origin, and ingredients? So's not like I could be all anonymous if they sucked. And also? No "do overs." I found this recipe at 9:30am Saturday morning, and these suckers had to be cooked and at the festival by 3:00pm.

Luckily, they didn't. In fact, they were damn good if I do say so myself. Yeah, I took photos. But I was PROUD, y'all! My first cookies from scratch EVER, and they were pretty AND yummy. Then again, there were 4 STICKS OF BUTTER in these suckers...and powdered sugar, so really, how could they NOT be good?
The festival was really great in theory. The potluck was awesome, the silent auction had a lot of nice goodies that had been donated (I have yet to see if I won the yoga classes, acupuncture, massage session or microdermabrasion I bid on. Do you see a theme here?), the two moonwalks and face painting and balloon animal stations were a hit, the Mariachis were entertaining. However, the RAIN sucked. That's right: It was cloudy all day, and about 15 minutes before the festival was due to begin, it started to rain. Lightly at first, and then pretty steadily. I was working the entry table, and we were soaked. The moonwalk had to be shut down. Most of the potluck (except for the dessert tables, which were under tents) had to be hurriedly moved into one of the classrooms and everyone went scurrying for what little shelter there was. Bummer. Oh well... I hope they do something similar next fall, because really, it was pretty cool. Oh yeah: And the Geej won a HUGE cake in the cake walk. I'm serious--this thing is monstrous. We haven't even cut into it yet, so I have no idea what kind of cake it actually is.

Later, after the festival, we were going to go to a 40th birthday party for one of Mr. Wonderful's friends, but The Geej and I bowed out, and let Mr. W. go alone...and in peace.

Today, we all went to Southpark Meadows for lunch and to let Geej run off some of her energy on the awesome playscape. Then we came home, and Geej and I took a freakin THREE HOUR nap. I can't believe we were actually able to get her to sleep pretty easily tonight.

Now it's time to go watch America's Most Smartest Model, so I'll post more tomorrow. I swear.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Have you missed me?

I need to catch up. I haven't done a substantive blog post in...forever.

So I'll start with Halloween. Geej was a Texas Cheeseleader, and she was a darn cute one if I do say so myself. She's totally OBSESSED with candy and ringing the doorbell, so she was super enthused about the whole Halloween concept. Like last year, we trick-or-treated with La Turista's chilluns in thier 'hood. It was great because almost every house on their street really did it up in the decor and candy department. Especially this one house on the end: They went NUTS!

Geej literally RAN from house to house, getting sugary goodies and saying "Thank you, Halloween!" as she hightailed it to the next doorbell. Too funny.

You've seen photos of my new dog Shiloh. But now it's time to meet the leopard gecko, Leo! Leo (who is actually a girl gecko) is way cool. She doesn't mind being held and petted and knows how to lick her own eyeballs. Pretty neat, no?

I've got a new boss at work. My little team has merged with two other small-ish teams to form the "Integrated Media" team. (Yeah, I reall;y have no idea what it means either.) We had the interviews for the leader of this team last week, and I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I think I may (finally) have that mentor I've been needing. We'll see how it all unfolds.

Also, I had my annual perfomance review last week and got a raise. HooRAY!

My work trip to Nashville was short but sweet--I was literally there for a little over 24 hours. The hotel I stayed at--The Gaylord Opryland--was pretty out of control. I mean, it was HUGE--a scale like I haven't seen outside of Las Vegas. It had all of these indoor atriums with rivers and gardens and pedestrian malls and walkways and all sorts of crazy shit. And it had all just been decorated for the holidays, which was quite pretty. While I was there, I saw a group of Orthodox Jewish men doing morning prayers out by one of the pools, Amish folks enjoying the scenery, and a nun.If I'd seen some gals walking around in a burqa, it would've rounded things out quite nicely.

The night I was there, we went to a "dinner show" at the Nashville Nightlife theater. When we walked in and saw the gaggle of gussied up senior citizens gathered around the rather pitiful buffet, I knew we were in for a treat. I was right--it was SUPER corny and cheesy and included quite possibly the most hauntingly horrible rendition of June and Johnny's "Jackson" I'll ever hear. Imagine one of the Sweeney Sisters singing the June Carter Cash part, and you get the idea. Oh yeah, and of course there was a ventriloquist.

Y'all, it's 84 flippin' degrees here right now, and I am SICK of the warm weather and having to run the A/C in the middle of November. Where's my cold snap, damnit?!

Mr. Wonderful started his new job on Monday. I know he's happy to get back onto a regular schedule and get out of the house. The adjustment to all of us cohabiting has gone well so far. In fact, it's pretty fun. I still can't get over the fact that when I wake up every morning, he's there. It's so awesome.

And finally: When I saw this clock, I had to buy it. Now I gaze at it every day and wonder, "What the Hell is 'Cram Cream'?"

Monday, November 12, 2007

The sky over Tennessee.

I took this from the plane on Friday:Cool, no?

I'll update you on the latest haps later this evening, including a sweeeeeeeeeet dinner show where the average age of the audience members was 82 and the surprising amount of religious diversity at my hotel.

Stay tuned, peeps.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Where the HELL have I been?

Good question.

Well, let me catch you up with a brief photo essay of the trip from northeastern Colorado to central Texas in a U-Haul containing all of Mr. Wonderful's worldly possessions--including his dog and gecko--and yours truly.

And here we go. Setting off on our lengthy adventure. Dog in the middle, the plains on either side.

Here's what we saw in Colorado:

Pretty, no? The rat on the dash (his name is Timmy) will have to be explained in a future post.

Dog is my copilot.

Here's what we saw in southwestern Nebraska:Breathaking.

Here's what we saw in Kansas:


And this: Wait. Can't see that? Here, let me zoom in for you:

No, we didn't actually get to see the Largest Prairie Dog in the World. Or the Live 6 Legged Cow. Maybe next time...

SUCH a good girl:

Kansas sunset at 65 mph:

Sunset on Mr. Wonderful:

Dog is my very sleepy copilot:

We rolled in to Norman, OK at around 10:15 pm, exhausted and hallucinating. We spent the night with the dear Jules, and then were on our way the next morning, after she made us a breakfast of Texas-shaped waffles.

Later that day--southern Oklahoma:
OMG Hills!! And trees!!

And finally:

We pulled into our driveway around 6pm on Saturday evening. Spent all Sunday unloading the U-Haul and organizing and reorganizing stuff.

To be perfectly honest, the move went very smoothly. We had great weather, no mechanical problems, a well-behaved canine companion, ran into zero traffic jams, dealt with very little road construction, saw only a couple of highway patrol (and that wasn't really until we got to Texas), only saw one wreck (and it was on the opposite side of the highway), and got along famously. Now we're just adjusting to the whole "Holy CRAP! You're really here!" thing.

The Geej is loving having Mr. Wonderful (and the dog and the gecko) here with us. She's been bossing everyone around like a crazy person, and is just pleased as punch with the whole situation.

I wish I could say the same about Earl. He's rather pissed, and that's all I'm going to say for now. I'm mad at him for some destructive stuff he decided to do, and let me just say, he's lucky to still have a place to call home. Hopefully, this is just a phase.

Mr. W. starts his new job on Monday, but for now, he's spending the days doing all that crap you have to do when you move someplace new. Also, he's being a dear about the fact that I'm crazed at work right now and am heading to Nashville for a work trip on Friday. "Hi, honey! Thanks for moving here! Bye! Have fun taking care of the kid!" God, what a jerk I am.

I'm also busy getting ready for this. Good god, y'all. As if weren't satisfied displaying my pathetic existence on the interweb, now I get to do it in front of a live audience. What is WRONG with me?! (That's rhetorical. Don't bother answering.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

And we're back.

1051 loooooooong miles later, we rolled into the driveway yesterday evening at around 6:00pm with very numb butts. Today it's all about unpacking and rearranging and organizing and whatnot. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off of work for more of the same.

The Geej returns from Dah's house this evening, and I can't wait to see her.

I can't believe he's really here and we're really together! It's still a bit surreal. And now I have a dog (his: Shiloh) and a leopard gecko (also his: Leo)!

A more substantial update to come...